A cruise ship is a floating resort with a focus on providing fun and entertainment while traveling from place to place. Unlike in a hotel, ship passengers spend most of their time on board so while destinations are important, the entire travel experience is even more important.
A cruise is sold to holiday makers as a complete package that includes travel to the various destinations, 5 meals a day (plus free room service whenever the passenger wants something to eat!) as well as a wide variety of day and night entertainment programs on board. Cruise ships are like resort hotels at sea, and comprise many bars, restaurants, discos, nightclubs , casino and duty-free boutiques, swimming pools, gyms and spas, and many also offer sports and outdoor recreation like jogging, ice-skating, rock climbing, golfing, and tennis. The passenger has only to pay for his drinks, casino chips and local sightseeing at the various ports.
There are many cruise companies operating out of the USA alone and most of the cruises are concentrated in the Caribbean. The world’s largest cruise conglomerate is Carnival Corporation, a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Carnival Corporation is based in Miami, Florida, and owns several cruise companies, such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P & O Cruises, Seabourne Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Windstar Cruises, among others. Carnival Corporation operates a fleet of 66 ships, and employs more than 55000 employees worldwide, out of which over 90% are on-board personnel.
Cruise lines typically hire crew on short 6-9 month renewable contracts. This means that there is a very large crew movement every week comprising crew members going on vacation or signing off at the end of their contracts and other crew members joining fresh or re-joining on renewed contracts. This continuous personnel movement means that there is continuous requirement for crew, and also very good chances of getting promoted in-house to fill vacancies.
With almost 50 nationalities working side by side, cruise lines offer a challenging and fantastic work environment where crew members get to have life-changing experiences working on huge operations and with people of different cultures in closely knit teams.